Gigabyte iSolo 210 Case - Installation and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Gigabyte iSolo 210 Case
Closer Look Outside the iSolo
Closer Look Inside the iSolo
Installation and Final Thoughts
 

Installation:

Now that we've seen what makes the iSolo 210 tick both inside and out, we'll stuff some gear inside and see how it all works and looks.

As with all systems, we started by installing the PSU first.  That way as we add components like the motherboard and drives, we can keep them all grounded to prevent static shock.  For the PSU, we managed to wrangle an Ultra X3 600W PSU that will also be reviewed shortly.  This case allows for PSU installation before or after the motherboard is installed - unlike many Thermaltake cases we've seen.  With some Thermaltake cases, once the motherboard is installed you cannot slip the PSU into place.  Gigabyte has designed the iSolo 210 better than that and there is plenty of room to install the PSU before or after the motherboard is in place.

 PSU Cabled Up
PSU Cabled Up

 

Hard Drive installation is very slick, and easy for up to 3 drives in the bottom caddy.  Drive rails are attached to the drive, and they can be slid into place and are held there securely by the tab and the back of the rail.  It's idiot-proof and holds the HDD securely.

 HDD Rails
HDD Rails
 HDD Installed
HDD Installed


Next we moved on to Optical drive installation.  On some cases ODD installation is as old-fashioned as sliding the drive in place and installing some screws, other computers require you to either screw or clip drive rails onto your DVDRW drive and then slide it in place.  Gigabyte takes things a step further and simply has you slide the drive in place and then lock it down - all from one side of the case.  There is no need to remove the opposite side panel for most drive and bay devices.  If you need to screw in a fan controller, that can easily be done, but most devices should work without tools, rails or headache.

 ODD - No Rails
ODD - No Rails
ODD Installed
ODD Installed

 

I'm not the best guy in the world to route wires tidy and make a super clean, organized case.  Although I've had lots of practice over the years, I guess I just lack the finesse to make it look perfect.  Below is a picture of the case with hardware installed and ready to go.

 Ready To Go
Ready To Go

 

As you can see above, we've got a fast, but aging 7950GX2 inside this case with lots of room to spare.  We've also got a couple of GB of ADATA PC2-1066, and the CPU is cooled by a stock cooler.  The stock cooler shows that there is plenty of room in this case for aftermarket coolers, but at the time, we don't have anything extra lying around on the bench.

 

Conclusion:

The Gigabyte iSolo case looks very good and has fairly decent build quality.  It's not fair to compare it to the 3D Mercury Pro, or the Zalman GT1000.  To put things into perspective, you can buy approximately four iSolo 210 cases for the price of either the GT1000 or the 3D Mercury.  For a price different of $300, there obviously has to be some sacrifices.

One thing that I love about the iSolo 210 is it's curb appeal.  This case looks sharp.  It comes with a mesh "window" side panel that helps in ventilation, but doesn't look cheap and tacky like some windows.  This case doesn't light up with flashing strobe lights, LED fans or other cheap gimmicks, but it does have a nice LED feature on the front by the power button.

Front Lighting
Front Lighting

 

The lighting effect that you see above, is in fact the only lighting on the case.  It doesn't have a standard power LED, or HDD activity LED.  There are no wires to hook these up.  There is simply a power button connection and a power wire to light up the front.  While some may miss the HDD Activity LED, I haven't yet.

 

The Good:

  • Very classy looking case.
  • Tool-less HDD, ODD, Front 3.5" drives and PCI Slots.
  • "Aluminum" Bezel
  • Quiet - adds a mere 4.4db at 6" to ambient room noise.
  • Fits long VGA cards easily.

 

The Bad:

  • Aluminum bezel is merely aluminum clad plastic.
  • Case is fairly heavy as it's 0.7mm SECC

 

BCCRating


I'd like to thank Gigabyte for sending up this case for us to review.  Please post your comments and questions in the forum at the link below.  We'd love to hear from you.